Trip 6, Day 8

I was tired this morning and I’m not sure why as I slept well. Maybe it’s all the overthinking – that has to take up some energy.

He came, we cuddled. In those moments, just lying there as I often am, you really relish the soft touch of his lips on your cheek; the strength of his arms around you or the sensual touch of bare feet on bare feet. It’s my favourite time, even if there was no love-making, like this morning.

After breakfast, I showered and then we took another stroll on his roof terrace. The sun was bright and warm and I love chatting with him up there. He told me we would be going to his city that afternoon.

We’ve been to the city about three times across my trips. Today though, we did more of the touristy things. Being a Friday, a lot of the shops and market stalls were closed, but enough were open to make it enjoyable – more so because with less stalls and less people, you could really get a feel for the place. We saw three of the main historical and architectural wonders his city is famed for and we took some beautiful pictures. It was good to be out in the sunshine too.

I was surprised and really touched when he bought me some beautiful leather sandals from the market and enjoyed watching the sunset as we drove home. Stopping to buy my favourite fruit from a farmer on the way home- even though they were expensive – was also a kind thought.

We were soon home and eating a delicious dinner. His parents soon went to bed but, unlike last night, there was no tension or undecision of what to do. It was my last night so we were staying up.

Not long after his parents left, I leant over his knees and asked for kiss. Then I told him I needed one. Either way, I didn’t get. He was engrossed in deleting old photos from his Google account making room for the beautiful photos we had taken that day. Being the high-maintenance craze-pot that I am, I of course was a little nettled by that. There was a little banter back and forth and eventually the phone was put down and the teasing commenced. Like the previous night, he would beckon me forward and, when I did, would exclaim that I misunderstood. After a while and under threat of me sitting back down in my place at his feet, he took to holding me there by my clothes or hair, an amused gleam to his eye (which I will freely admit now that I love) and a smile on his face.

Never to be outdone or skimp on the jesting, round two involved him pressing his lips together most invitingly for a kiss, then moving away when I tried. I’d ‘give up’, he’d hold me in place and then it would start again.

Round three was war of the noses. He’d let me close enough so our noses touched but that’s it. Amusing yes. Frustrating, ridiculously. Enough so…you guessed it by this point I emotionally couldn’t see the funny side and as ‘this is the last evening you will have time kiss me for 5 months’ screamed through my head, obliterating all sense and reason, I started to cry. AGAIN.

At this, he pushed his lips to mine and his kisses were…out of this world. He was generally shocked by my crying AGAIN, I can’t understand why, as that it pretty much all I’ve done. He asked, did I not like his playing? Which I replied, I did, but I guess the blubbering mess of my face suggested otherwise. I told him I loved him and then,

“Do you hate me?’ One because he had every right to and two, because that was what he said to me most of all – his way of professing his love in a way that I only know and he can pretend he hasn’t just blurted his heart out.

“No.” His voice was deep and emotion tinged and I lifted my head up in surprise to look at him.

“No? Tell me you love me then.”

And he did, although I didn’t miss the way his eyes flicked away right before the end. So close though.

After more beautiful kisses, I decided I emotionally couldn’t cope any more. I got up and got us both some water. Placing his bottle on his table, I turned to go and saw such a look of pain in his face. He was surprised I was going and looked genuinely hurt. I’ve never, ever seen that look before. I lay back down with him and he held me. He said he didn’t understand me. We hugged, we kissed, and soon it was time for me to go. He didn’t get up to walk me to bed.

I went into my room, sat down, and let it all out. Why do I keep doing this? Why do I ruin everything? He’d be better off without me.

After a moment, I went to the bathroom to clean up but then I went back to him.

He made room and I held him. He said again, “I don’t know why you do that. Why do you cry every night?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I’m not good for you.”

“OK.. so..” and that was all he said. He buried his face into my neck and we just held each other, his sentence unfinished…mine missing.

Before long, he roused enough to tell me to go to bed. He walked me to my door, kissed me, and said he loved me.

I didn’t sleep well, as usual. I woke a number of times, full of self loathing and fear. I’d never seen him so hurt before, so dejected. What could I say? How can I explain?

At 4.30am, I admitted defeat and went to the bathroom. As I walked through the hallway, I thought I heard the TV on from his room, but on the way back it was quiet. I lay back in bed, trying not to imagine he hadn’t wanted me to know he was awake. Either way, I needed to try to sleep.

Within moments though the door opened and he asked me to switch on the lamp. He told me he had had bad dreams and now couldn’t sleep. He crawled into bed beside me, and locked me within his arms. Before long, he was asleep and I lay there, thinking of course.

I barely wanted to move in case he left. Time passed by and eventually, I too fell asleep.

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Trip 6, Day 6 – highs and lows

He came early this morning. I sprang up from bed delighted, like a child, and he joked that I should ‘stay back’. He grabbed his customary chocolate that I brought – for his sweet tooth, to sweeten his breath or for energy I’m never sure. He then got into bed. No phone…

He held me. I held him. And I let my hands wander and touch and caress – not for him as such, but selfishly because I want to commit every millimetre to memory. Although, he did enjoy it, obviously. We made love and after he held me again. I can’t get enough of him. I once read something – a poem perhaps – where the narrator said they wanted to crawl inside their loved one so they would be with them always. I found the analogy bizarre when I read it, and a little gross. But I get it now.

My soul craves his. 
My skin needs his.
I want to melt into him -
For we are one.

I’m unashamed when I say I enjoy sex. But this is not about sex. When we make love, I am as close to him as I possibly can be and that is what I want. I want him and his love to consume me – my body, my love, my heart and soul. That is what making love truly is and I can honestly say I have never felt like this with any other man in my whole life.

Eventually, it was time for breakfast. He was a little distracted and rushed to head out to work. As his parents and I were still eating, there was no goodbye kiss but as yesterday, I watched as he went to leave. Hidden by the wall, he turned and with humour in his eyes, blew me a dramatic kiss out of sight of his parents. And as the door closed behind him, his face was in the closing space and he gave me another and I smiled, openly and happily.

******

Today, I was lucky as he was able to come home for dinner. It was a nice surprise and broke up the day. He went back to work after of course, and in a change of routine I lay down on the bed.

I spent the remaining hours until he came home reading past posts from the time we met. It was eye opening. There was so much I had forgotten.

But it’s more than that. You can read how steadily, I fall in love with him. You see my inner conflict and fear as I combat the negativity of people I once called friends. You see my growing excitement, anticipation and anxiety as my first trio looms. Interestingly, now from a distance, you can see him falling in love with me and being equally as nervous. It was a wonderful thing to re-read and experience it all.

At this point, he came home. Finding me lying on the bed, he too broke routine and joined me. We watched a TV show together and he made me laugh. I listened as he repeated the English dubover of his Korean show and felt heartwarmed that he was trying to improve his English this way.

All too soon, we were called for tea. And all too soon after that, we were getting ready for bed.

After the usual rituals of goodnight, kisses, then washing my face, brushing teeth etc, I got into bed and picked up my phone to see…it was 8pm.

8pm

I was shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I know he is exhausted and I also know he goes to bed early. But 8pm? Really?

So, I did my usual. Allowed myself to stew and then messaged. I didn’t say much, honest. Just expressed my…surprise…at the time. He offered for me to go sit with him but, no. I cut my nose off to spite my face and told him: ‘It’s OK, forget.’

Within moments, he was with me. He told me he would stay until 10pm, my usual bedtime back home. Any protests by me were ignored. He cuddled in, shut his eyes and went to sleep.

I tried, a couple of times to wake him and tell him to go. He ignored me. So I lay for some time feeling like the worst girlfriend in the world. And then, surprisingly, no doubt shrouded in the warmth of his loving arms and acceptance, I too slept a little.

Happy Guilt

Wildcard and I have a verbal dance. Not being a dancer, I can’t complete this analogy properly but will say it is tango-esque.

He’s a joker, a teaser. Making me laugh for hours and hours is one of the ways he has consistently showed me his love this past few years. He delights in it.

Occasionally though, he will say something a little to the left of laughter…or, more likely, my mood will not see the humour in it. I’ve observed this trigger and know that it’s entirely to do with my fear of losing him and of not being good enough. We then begin our dance of tooing and froing…of empassioned pauses and fast turns, emotional filled, shocking and tense.

Last night’s gem isn’t hard to qualify as I was clearly in that mood yesterday as you can see from my post. I was feeling fear and doubt.

After writing that post, he called as usual, and I tried very hard to raise my positive energy and cast away my fears for another day. And I succeeded at first.

He then made a joke. It was a common one, something he says regularly- daily, even. It’s a joke which I laugh at, accept, feel warmth about 98% of the time.

Today though, I followed up with a question…

And he, as usual, continued his joke. No, he didn’t think of me that way. It didn’t even enter his mind.

The dance stops dead. The female lead freezes and stares at the male.

I was triggered. My mind shifted out of our usual joking – the joke we had had every day – into new territory. It side stepped into a new beat.

I questioned again, digging, clarifying…emotions overriding common sense. At this point, I’m glazed over, mind racing. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel the too-familiar tingle of tears in my eyes.

She spins and turns away….he stalks towards her.

He’s not oblivious. He knows that I’ve entered the dance, stamped my feet and sauntered away. He, of course, chooses to dance.

He questions me – why am I crying.

I reply, I’m not. I’ve managed to stop it.

He retorts, you haven’t. You look like you will explode.

The dance continues.

So I ask again, you really don’t think of me that way?

Yes, he says finally with humour and depth and truth in this eyes. I think.

At that moment she relents and is swept into his arms in a final montage of love.

He says I’m stupid, of course, with humour. Why would he be with me if he didn’t think like that? Why do I ask these questions when I know the answers? Indeed, why do I? The voice of sense is in my head…she sits there smug, knowing the truth but watches as my inner imposter takes the lead for a spell.

This morning I called him when I woke. He was in a good mood and as we greeted each other, he gave a huge grin and was chuckling to himself as he did something on the phone.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.”

This of course makes me nervous. My brain goes into overdrive- what …or who…was he laughing at? Was he speaking to someone else when I called? Have they sent him something?

“Why are you nervous?” He asks.

“I’m not.”

“You are. Why are you nervous?”

“What were you laughing at?”

“I’ve sent you something. You haven’t seen it yet.”

Oh. So when he was laughing and doing something on his phone, he was actually sending me something. Oh.

I look at my phone and he’s sent a series of photos and I gasp and put my hand to my face and then laugh with him. At first, I don’t remember him taking them but eventually the memory breaks.

The photos are intimate but in an innocent way. We are in bed together and it was one morning when I was there. In the photos he is shirtless (it was the height of summer) and I am wearing a vest top but we are cuddling: with him looking at the camera and me with my head against his chest. Intimate, innocent, but kind of sexy. In the first of them, the angle isn’t great as I look at the camera too, and it’s not very flattering for me, and I remember telling him I didn’t like the photo so I moved to rest my head against his chest and closed my eyes. In the others, it’s recorded a loving moment and I hadn’t remembered or realised he’d taken so many.

There’s been a few times I’ve thought I’ve caught him taking surreptitious photos when I’ve been reading or when I was crying at the airport, saying bye to his mum, and I’ve just gone along with what I was doing- if he wants candid photos, let him. I take them often enough. But I’d forgotten this moment, and in its intimacy I realised once again that he loved me when he took them and he loved me enough this morning to have been looking at them before I called. So, yes, he does think about me in that and every other way.

I ended the call in happy guilt. Guilt that my mind jumps to the negative, so quick to allow my inner demons to cloud my judgement. Happy that he has proved again that he loves me and wants me.

About an hour later he called again, this time in his car. He was waiting for his parents as they were travelling to see family for a special event. He looked jaw-droppingly good. I asked to see what he was wearing and he panned out, a little reluctantly.

I told him he looked delicious, and he said he’d brought the blazer jacket I had bought him some time ago.

“Is that the jumper I bought you too?”

“Yes,” as he moved the camera to show me again and I glimpsed the ring I made him and the watch I bought.

“Baby! It’s like I’m there with you!”

He smiled shyly and looked to the side – the gesture he makes when he’s showing his true emotions. He laughed a little, and showed me his footwear – which I’d also bought him. 😍

“Oh baby, I’m there with you, hugging you with the jacket and jumper and ring and watch and the shoes!”

We both laughed and smiled at each other and then his parents got into the car.

As we ended the call, I thought about the fact that today, he had surrounded himself with many the things I have bought for him over the past three years. He didn’t need to – he has other things he could wear that I haven’t bought. But he chose to.

Now, I’m just happy. 🥰

Trip 4: day 2 reunion

He was over an hour late. I kid you not.

He had warned me the day before that there were issues at work and I was aware of the possibility that I may have to wait for him.

When I landed, over-brimming with excitement, I sent him a picture of the airport from the aeroplane window. Within moments he told me he had just got out and would be there within 30 to 40 minutes.

Knowing that his time is not like UK time, I expected him in an hour. I waited in the airport for that hour but as the place emptied – it is small despite being international – I started to feel uncomfortable and a little sad. Why could he have not made the effort to be here, waiting, like he always did?

I went outside and wandered amongst the flowerbed and trees outside the airport. After what seemed like an age but was only 15 minutes, I spotted him walking towards the airport. My heart lurched.

I can’t pretend a part of me wasn’t put out. But on the drive to his home, I reminded myself that he had warned me about this and I had repeatedly told him it was ok. I know there are things going on in his workplace.

Apart from that, the ride home was filled with laughter. He has a knack of making me laugh. It was so lovely to see his parents who had wanted to come with him to pick me up, and I hoped that this meant that their recent feud was passing.

When we arrived, I gave out presents and was happy they were so well received. He apologised that he hadn’t bought me anything. Again, I’m not materialistic and presents are not important to me. I didn’t expect one. And yet, when he said that – acknowledged it- it hurt.

And so, that inner voice is talking again. She’s been fed now and has the strength to whisper in my ear. My brain likewise is looking and finding evidence that what she says is true, because that is what our brains do.

She told me that his kisses were not passionate enough.

She told me that he didn’t sit close enough to me at dinner.

She whispered that he didn’t need to take his phone down to the car when he went to pick up the papers he had left.

I counter argued with the tender kiss he pressed on my neck as he moved past me as I looked out the window….

We had an amazing dinner – his mum had gone all out to make my favourite foods.

He then suggested we went to relax. We went to his room, cuddled, and soon intimacy followed. He laughed that he wouldn’t be able to sleep next to me as we would not get any sleep. See, I told her.

Later, we went to have tea and cake with his parents again before bed. He couldn’t do enough – checking I was OK, making sure I had everything I needed.

That’s being a good host, she said. He doesn’t have to do that, I replied.

I lay in bed and after 30 minutes he messaged, asking if I was OK. I replied I was, and told him I loved him. He sent a stream of hearts and kisses and hugs emoticons.

He hasn’t told you he loves you, yet, she pointed out.

I slept fitfully, waking repeatedly for no apparent reason. At 5am and got up to go to the toilet and went back to bed to read a little. I heard noises outside my room and felt a little guilty that I may have woken someone.

My door opened and he was there, asking if I was OK and saying that he couldn’t sleep too.

He climbed in to bed next to me and we bundled the blankets around us to keep out the cold. I instantly felt more content with him there and started to feel drowsy…until I was the opposite. What followed was the most tender and intimate love making we had ever had. We then lay together, limbs entwined. Even when he turned over, his legs wiggled back to find me and envelope mine.

See, I told her. He still hasn’t said he loves you, she replied. But hasn’t he just shown me? I exclaimed. Perhaps, she retorted.

Hearing his parents stirring, he got up to leave and gave me a kiss.

I wish my inner voice, my imposter, would just shut the hell up.

Crave

I should be used to the insomnia by now, but I’m not.

I dread going to bed because I know I will lie there and think of him. And my situation.  Equally, I dread going to sleep because of how often I dream about school. No closure there then.

I’m not sure why I posted my last post. I mean, yes, those thoughts and feelings were valid at the time of writing. It’s funny how you see things differently after a sleep. Or seven, in this case.

Wildcard, unfortunately, wasn’t seeing anything differently. Ever since that last outburst- which was 100% my fault – he’s been off. Yes, I know, we’ve been here before. And yes, I’m probably being a little oversensitive/paranoid/self absorbed but he half admitted it last night. He also keeps saying “so, you’re starting again…” which is a bit of a give away. I haven’t started anything …in the past week.

Of course, at this time of year, everyone starts evaluating and analysing their life. I’ve recognised just how hard this year has been for me and I’m determined that next year I will be more positive and proactive. Mel Robbins is leading the way in my thinking and I highly recommend you looking her up if you want some excellent coaching and life advice. I’ve been dipping in and out over the past 18 months but I’m committed to seeing things through to the end this time.

Some of her advice hits a little hard at times, mainly because you realise she is right. A lot of my ‘issues/anxieties’ with Wildcard are actually anxieties about myself. It’s not his place to make me feel good about myself, neither consciously or subconsciously. More and more I’m realising that I have to start loving myself and who I am. I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm at the moment. Things are ok, but I have some real tough decisions to make. I need to trust myself and my judgement. 

Whatever this was with Wildcard has blown over now. He often tells me that he just needs time and he will soon forget – he laments his terrible memory. I, on the other hand seem to store things in my head to make inaccurate equations with later.

My London friend’s words are still rattling around. I thought my conversation with Wildcard mid-December had banished them, but apparently not. They’ve been resurrected now more times than a tacky Hollywood villain.

My head just can’t seem to process my current situation. I do suffer from anxiety and due to previous relationships, I have anxious attachment. But there are fundamental things that my head can’t figure out. Like…

We’re in a long distance relationship – do these things just take longer? How is covid impacting on what would have happened? Are we following his culture or mine in this? Or, is he just commitment phobic and I’m being stupidly dragged along? Or, am I putting on too much pressure because of my own low self esteem – I need his formal commitment to make myself feel valued? My London friend thinks he is just waiting for someone better to come along. It’s easy to believe that when you dislike yourself.

My biggest problem is I cannot trust my own judgement any more.  It is affecting every area of my life. I thought I was a good teacher. I thought I was doing well. I thought I had finally ‘cracked’ the weight loss. I thought I had got myself in to good habits. I thought I had found the love of my life and dreamed of him being with me and being a family.

I love him exactly the way he is – I love everything about him. And yet sometimes I crave more, but I know this is more about my insecurity and self esteem than anything else. What I crave is confirmation that I am not imagining anything- he loves me, completely.  We will be together one day. In these moments, it doesn’t matter how many times he has called me or told me he loves me. My mind craves more.

Problem is, I’m never satiated because it’s coming from the wrong person. It needs to come from me. What I mean by that is he tells me he loves me, every day. He shows me he loves and misses me, every day. I know that. But I’ve recognised that when I’m feeling insecure and anxious, I crave the ridiculous over the top stuff. But that isn’t him: I just want it because of how I feel.

It is not the first time I’ve thought something along those lines. I remember writing a post about how my past relationships had caused me to be anxious – it wasn’t my fault! – but I’m a toy train on a circular track. I stop at the same stations, only to move on and come around again. I’m hoping this real focus on coaching, such as that by Mel Robbins, will help me change the tracks and send soothe my cravings.

Enough (cont from previous post)

How to explain?

I told him that my last trip with him was the happiest I had been. I was so happy.

But that trip had signalled a ‘mental’ end. For me, I had decided that once I got back there would be no more relaxing and dilly-dallying. No. It was time to start work.

When that didn’t happen (my DBS wasn’t back), I faltered. I mourned not being with him and the life I wanted with him. But I couldn’t motivate myself wholeheartedly to do much else. Whilst I couldn’t explain this to him as eloquently as I have just now, he understood. He told me not to worry – I would be working soon. He told me to fill my time, and my mind, with other work. He’s always right.

I continued. And then…and then there was the incident with my London friend. I hadn’t told him what she had said but he pressed me and so I did. 

This was hard to explain – naturally, he took the affront and felt that she (and I) were accusing him of being bad and of not loving me.

But that isn’t it. I told him that I know he is a good man. Her words, her belief that I was an option actually made me feel bad on me. That I wasn’t good enough. The reason he hasn’t made a commitment or a decision was that I wasn’t good enough.

“Did I say that? Have I ever said that to you? You must understand my thinking.”

He was angry with her for inserting herself so negatively in our relationship. He talked of his culture and the ‘white thread’ that family brought to support a couple when they were struggling.

He said there were no problems between us.  That he just needed time to get everything right where he was, before he made the final move to commitment and leaving his country.

He told me…he told me that he had never met a woman like me before. He told me that I was beautiful and gentle and a good woman, and that his parents had said the same. He said he was the bad one – he didn’t do half of what I did for him and so I had no reason to think bad of myself. When I asked him why he didn’t, and I say that not because I want him to do those things but out of curiosity, he said he wasn’t in the position to do it. It wasn’t his way and I knew his situation. (I repeat, I don’t expect those things from him. I don’t need gifts as such. I perhaps just need a symbol.)

He talked about how we shared our life, and how we had done so for two years now. He told me he had never spent so much virtual time with a woman, none of his ex girlfriends. And I was the only one who knew his family – didn’t I realise that was something special?

That is what he had given me, I concluded. Not a token. He had made the decision to give me his life, of a fashion. Outside of me, and his parents, and his Instagram aspirations he does little else. This isn’t a man going out all the time. He rarely goes anywhere.

I am enough. He told me I am enough. What actually said is that I’m better than, more than that.

So….

Enough already. Stop with the mopsing and the worrying and the overthinking.

I am enough.

Options

Re-read that. Just let it sink in a little.

So went my conversation with my London friend a few days after my last post.

I’ve floated about in no man’s land ever since.

Long Distance Relationships are hard. Most people don’t believe in them or trust them. They can be isolating. There’s lots of advice out there telling you to ‘continue to live your life’ and I do. But you don’t want to miss a minute with your other half, set in the knowledge that this is all you have.

My London friend is in her own LDR with a man from the same country as Wildcard. So you can imagine the effect these conversations have had on me.

I haven’t been the same with Wildcard since. Or her for that matter. Her words play on loop in my mind whenever I speak to him. It’s not that I think she is right. It’s just that she could be. She found an anxiety I already had and amplified it. Now I can’t drown out the noise.

Without telling him what she has said, we have talked about our situation. And equally, some of what he says could be true too. I can’t underplay how much of an upheaval moving to the UK would be. He talks of starting at zero, nothing, of having to rely on me. He talks of leaving his parents alone, his career, his car, his friends.

And this is where the sharp edge of words come in to force – I am an option.

Whether he loves me or not, I am still an option. One that he hasn’t yet decided on.

He says he wants to be with me. He just hasn’t decided yet. For me there is no option: I don’t want anyone else. The course of our life isn’t decided though and there are decisions we need to make together. I suspect that his culture has brought him up to believe that he makes the decisions. I can’t be sure.

(She also says I make too many excuses for him)

Yesterday he posted a video on social media of him and his cousin’s little girl. It was cute. Adorable. He looked happy. And sexy.

And herein lies the next problem. If he waits much longer to make his ‘decision’ the option to have a baby may be taken away from us. I’m not getting any younger.

How long do I wait, then?

At what point do I realise that he is never going to commit, and move on? Or do I wait for him to find a better option and leave me?

He can’t win, really. If he had proposed too soon (which isn’t soon for his culture) my family and friends would have had the visa thief banners out. If he doesn’t propose then people accuse him of not actually loving me and seeing me as a option.

When is the right time? What time is actually acceptable?

Monday is our two year anniversary of meeting. Two whole years of multiple daily video chats. But I have only spent just over 4 weeks with him in person. He hasn’t physically met any of my family, including my children.

Am I making excuses again?

Tonight, as I dropped off my children, it occurred to me that I will be spending another weekend alone. That if I had someone closer, I would have arranged a date with him. Instead, I’m alone. I’ve had my videochat and we have said goodnight.

***********

As seems to be the way nowadays, I write a post, pause so I can edit and then….I don’t. So this update comes two days later on a bright Monday morning.

Saturday came and went. I couldn’t tell you what I did exactly. Half heartedly cleaned the house and fed my children – which is pretty much what I’ve done for the last six months – until it was time for them to go to their Dad’s.

Yesterday I was alone. I lazed in bed until a ridiculous hour, because, why not? And then, in a fit of frenzy, I decided to put some makeup on for the first time in a week and get the hell out of the house. I took myself off to a local pop up artisan fair – spent money I don’t have, reminisced about all the fairs I had done with my dad, considered whether I could actually start my own business this way and annoyed Wildcard because he couldn’t understand why I had all of a sudden put a face full of make up on to go to a market. He got over it.

I don’t mind his controlling behaviours. And the reason for that, is that I am actually stronger than he (and my London friend) think. He has never stopped me from going anywhere I really wanted to go. His sulking bemused me and makes me feel wanted. Once his own insecurities are resolved by showing him that yes, I did go out to a market wearing that make up alone, he relaxes. It’s no different to how I feel when he goes out wearing his sexy black jumper and dark blue jeans.

In the evening we had our usual chat and we discussed my anxiety with the slow start of my tutoring. He reminded me that there was a lot I could be doing (and what had I been doing for the past six months?) Whilst I waited. Whilst joking, he managed to call me out on a lot of my behaviours this last few months. Whether he realised he was doing this or not, I don’t know. But it set off a series of truth fireworks in my mind.

Seeing my distress, he probed my feelings. He said I hadn’t been the same since I had returned from my last visit. He asked why, what was wrong?

How to explain?

Read my next post to find out.

Lost in…

The day of my departure.

I’m packed and ready to go. I was determined to not be an over anxious mess this time. Not sure how successful I’ve been.

Last night I just felt numb. I was quiet and brooding though I tried not to be. Part of me was sulking too I guess. It was my last night there and I wanted something. When I was a child, the last night of a holiday was always a big deal. You’d go out for a meal or go somewhere special to mark the end of a great trip – go out with a bang I should say. It’s not that I wanted or needed to go out. I think I just wanted some recognition.

I suppose I need to remember that Wildcard may not see things that way. From what I gather, his experiences of holidays have been camping for the summer in his family’s village. He told me that as he and his brothers got older, they hated going. Not quite the same then.

But then, I guess I want to see that he is feeling it too – she’s going home, I’m going to miss her. Let’s make the most of it. But there was nothing to mark this. After sitting in the lounge for a while whilst he continued with his usual routine – the occasional ‘Are you ok?’ ‘What’s wrong?’ punctuating the silence, I got up and went to my room, heart heavy and soul weary.

He shouted me and I ignored him. I had no energy to answer and I didn’t want to talk about it. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t help it – in my head he should feel the same and I shouldn’t have to explain everything.

Before long though he came to the room. He asked again what was wrong and then lay with me, his legs claiming me. He smacked my bottom occasionally. Tickled me a few times. In that way he was trying.

We were shouted for tea and apparently his mum noticed I wasn’t myself. I hate that, I tried to act normal, but that heavy feeling inside is hard to overcome.

And of course it is wrapped up in a multitude of other feelings. Fear he doesn’t reciprocate. Guilt over my children. Worry that we may split up and I never come back. Wonder that he still hasn’t made us official. Anger that I’m torturing myself again.

We drank our tea, said goodnight to his parents and I got ready for bed. When I went into my room he was stood at the window and I went to stand with him. He kissed my cheek and my forehead and I rested my head on his shoulder. We cuddled a little on the bed and he gently kissed every part of my face. But when he told me he was going to bed as he was tired, I couldn’t help the tears.

And I couldn’t explain. When he left me that night, my trip was over. I didn’t want him to leave. It’s not that I wanted sex (although I would never say no to him), I just didn’t want him to leave me. I managed to explain enough that I didn’t want him to go and I wanted him to be near, and could he stay just a little longer? So we talked a little and we cuddled and we kissed and eventually I had calmed enough to tell him to go to bed. Prioritising me enough not to go to bed when he was tired said enough to appease me.

He messaged not long after, telling me not to be sad and that he loved me. And with that I fell asleep.

At some time in the night I heard movement outside my room. I’m a light sleeper mostly, so anyone venturing to the bathroom will wake me. To my surprise, Wildcard came to my door. He’d had a bad dream about his Grandmother and couldn’t sleep. He came in, shut the blinds and cuddled up to me. We slept together for the rest of the night although neither of us sleeps well with someone else in the bed. It was magical though, and something we haven’t done since my very first trip in Feb 2019. I sent a thank you to his Grandmother. I have dreamed of her once too as she beckoned me to into her family, and I have no doubts that she had done this.

In the morning there was love and passionate and affection. Then he went to work, leaving me to shower and pack.

I started shaking about an hour after he left. I felt calmer than last time but the anxiety was coming from within my body, not my mind. His mother asked me for help and as I sat with her, I told her that I felt nervous. She asked me why and I started to weep. I couldn’t help it. She asked me again and so I told her.

‘I don’t want to leave Wildcard.’

She looked at me, confused, and asked me to repeat. I said it again but she still didn’t understand so she asked me to translate on my phone.

She then understood and told me not to be sad and she was sorry. She asked me if I loved him and I told her, yes a lot. So now she knows.

Later, once I was calm again. She told me that she had misunderstood me at first, and thought I had said ‘ I don’t want to live with Wildcard’. We laughed for ten minutes straight over that one and I felt better after it.

He came home from work and we all ate dinner before Wildcard and I lay on his bed and just cuddled. I may have wept a little.

At the airport he sat with me for nearly 45 minutes until it was time to drop my bag. I told him to go, but he didn’t.

I’m lost in him. I’m lost without him. I don’t know when I’m going back. I’m just…lost.

Actions speak louder than words

The beginning.

Yesterday was a long day. Very long. I dozed on each flight but you can’t escape that I had been awake over 24 hours before I arrived here.

My friend said that my third visit would feel different and it does. I told him on our last phone call that I could wait to kiss him and hug him. He didn’t say much in reply. I could say that he was driving….but he didn’t reply.

As I came in to land I decided to stop putting pressure on this relationship and just enjoy it for what it is, as it is now. As I said in my last post, now is all we have.

We messaged as I entered the airport but there were no calls as usual. Again, I pushed the negative emotions back.

When I saw him I had the flare of otherness, of excitement, of love and of nerves. He was dressed more informally than last time. I pushed them back again.

He took my case and greeted me with a kiss on each cheek, we then started to walk to the car. It was easy, comfortable. He teased me as normal and I could not feel any nerves between us. It felt really good. Comfortable, natural. Like coming home.

We arrived at his house and I ran to hug his mum. I then went to his/my room to unpack a little and settle. We seemed to almost dance around his room as we both settled and changed. But there were no hugs or kisses. Worry started to creep in.

I was silly to. As everything and everyone settled, probably ten minutes there, he held me – squeezed me – and kissed me so passionately. And then I knew that everything was OK. More than OK.

We had a delicious dinner and we settled into a comfortable silence as we all ate. Then after dinner, we went to his room.

And then there was passionate kissing and touching and love making – and it felt like love, every second of it.

Everything feels so easy this time. Normal and yet special. I’m really happy.

Actions really do speak louder than words.

Confused but not crying

Those who know me or who have been reading my posts for a while will know that I have a little epiphany from time to time. It’s like the jumble of thoughts that are in my head finally clear and everything fits into place.

That is not to say I won’t get anxious about Wildcard again – I will. My anxiety is a part of me as much as my freckles are: whilst they almost disappear sometimes, in other times they are vibrant and unmissable. So it will be, I guess, with my anxiety.

It is also hard not to let familiarity and ‘routine‘ (and I say that for want of a better word) continue. This is some of what I read about and watched a few days ago… I’m anxious about a certain thing. I allow myself to think about it repeatedly, unchecked. My brain registers that and almost comes to expect it. So then my brain will look out for signs and reminders for me so I continue thinking about it. And so on. This is my daily life and what my brain expects and plans for.

I need to re-route my brain.

I need to let my dreams of the future be the focus of my thoughts but not of a future with him.

Wow that hurts.

But I have no control over that future and until he is ready to talk about it at least, I can’t keep dreaming about something he may not want or may never happen. No, instead I need to dream about a life for me.

Today has been a great day with him. The tension has lifted and it was like we were back to how we were a few months ago – before his family troubles, the sad loss of his grandmother, covid-visit stress and the recent arguments. We laughed today, a lot.

Pexels

I wrote the above yesterday. This morning I have waved off my sisters and my youngest as they go on a little trip with a family friend. They offered to take him months ago as we thought I would be going to see Wildcard. Huh.

As I predicted, my buoyancy has waned a little. The anxiety is at bay but my overthinking isn’t.

Whilst sitting drinking coffee with my brother in law and our friend this morning, he asked for an update on Wildcard and my return to his country.

I could hear myself trying to explain what happened. I heard myself say that when he first gave me his reasons I couldn’t understand but subsequent discussions have clarified it for me. In short, I heard myself explaining away the situation. Neither of them knew what to say. Our friend said “but surely he wants you to come when you can?” which of course were my sentiments too. I tried to explain how he worries and overthinks. It sounded a little like excuses to my own ears, even though I know it is true.

I’m so stuck between thinking that he isn’t ready to commit, isn’t sure about me or that I’m rushing things and putting pressure on through my anxiety and in typical female fashion of wanting commitment and a label, yesterday.

I’ve been with him for 21 months and we have talked multiple times every single day

But I have only visited him, seen him in person, twice for a total of three weeks.

I believe we are in a serious relationship, but not yet serious enough for us to discuss our future.

A commitment in this long distance relationship is bigger than a normal relationship. He is commiting to starting again career wise, moving away from his family and friends, moving to a new country.

He is still calling, still wants to be with me but just wants breathing time between visits.

His parents like me and want me to come. He would allow me to come in August even though he would prefer it to be delayed.

Yesterday he asked me to remind him to do something in early September.

Am I holding out for something that will never happen? Or am I letting my anxiety and insecurity ruin something good?

Confused, but not crying. Is this progress?